Themed Thursday #5 – January 18, 2018

Image By: TatianaMakeeva on DeviantArt

Today’s Theme: Dragons

The Twins and the Dragon

By: Robin Gagnon

Once upon a time, there were two twin girls, whom were named Ella and Emma. Both girls had the same bright, blue eyes and long, straw-coloured hair. They had grown up in a poor family and when they turned the age of ten, their lives took a tragic turn.

On that fateful afternoon of their birthday, the sisters had been picking daisies in the meadow. The sky had been clear and cerulean, while the green grass danced in the slight summer breeze. They were laughing and chasing each other, when Ella had noticed the black smoke in the distance. They ran back to their house in haste, but when they arrived, the house had been returned to nothing but rubble. The two sisters cried well into the evening, when a witch came across them and their misfortune. Deciding the two girls would make perfect servants, the witch took them in.

The witch’s name was Evelyn and she was known to be wicked. Her hair was as black as the night and her beady eyes resembled that of a crow’s. She lived in the middle of an enchanted forest, not far from a big village, where she was not always welcome. Ella and Emma served as her gophers (as well as her housemaids), and ran into town to get whatever the woman needed.

When the townsfolk had figured out who the two girls were working for, they threw rocks and gossiped bad things about them. The rumours were that the twins were dolls that the witch had brought to life and would bring back luck if you were to talk to them. This left the girls trapped, unable to ask anyone for help to escape the wicked witch. Even the fairies that lived in the enchanted forest refused to help because they feared suffering the witch’s wrath. Ella and Emma were on their own.

“We’ll escape one day,” Emma assured her sister on the day of their twelfth birthday, as they washed the witch’s clothes in the river’s cold water. “You’ll see. We already know how to wash clothes, cook food and clean the house. We’ll be fine on our own.”

“But what if she catches us?” Ella asked with worry. “We can’t fight her.”

“Then we’ll get stronger,” Emma vowed with conviction. “And we’ll get smarter too. You are frailer than I, so you stay with the witch and learn all her tricks and spells. I’ll go into town and spy on the soldiers to learn how they train to get stronger. Then one day, we’ll be able to fight back.”

Ella still didn’t look convinced, as she replied, “I don’t think that’ll be enough. She’s hundreds of years old. It’ll take me that long to learn everything she knows.”

Emma went deep into thought, and sat next to her sister in silence. Perhaps she was right. The witch was wise from living for many years. The girls could never expect to overpower her magic skills. They needed someone or something’s help.

As they sat near the gently flowing river, the birds happily whistled overhead. Emma looked up at them and wished she and her sister had wings to fly away from this place. That was just what they needed.

When they were done washing Evelyn’s clothes, the two girls gathered their things and walked home a bit disheartened. Half-way through their walk, Ella stumbled upon something strange in the enchanted forest.

“Are you alright?” Emma asked her sister, who had tripped over something that she had not been paying attention to. “What did you fall over?”

The girl’s looked down to see an egg the size of a large pot. It was speckled and dark blue, as it glittered in the beams of sunlight shining through the trees.

“What is it?” Emma asked in curiosity, poking it with one finger and finding it warm to the touch. “Do you think we can cook it?”

“No!” Ella squealed, hugging the egg close to her. “You can’t eat it. It’ll hatch into a baby.”

“We can’t keep it,” Emma reminded her sister with a look of warning. “Evelyn will be mad if she knows we brought home something like this. I don’t think she’d react kindly if we asked her to keep a pet.”

“But,” Ella pleaded, with sad, round eyes that her sister could never refuse. “It’ll die out here if we leave it alone.”

Emma sighed and, with a roll of her eyes, replied, “Fine, bring it, but don’t let the witch know you have it.”

Ella’s face broke into a huge smile and she wrapped the egg in the witch’s clothes to hide it. When they got back, Evelyn yelled at them for taking too long and demanded that they hurry to cook her dinner. Ella hid the egg in the pantry when the witch wasn’t looking and they carried on with their daily chores.

That night, the two girls carried their egg to the small shack they called home outside the witch’s house. It wasn’t big enough to even fit a bed, so instead, the twins shared the floor with the blankets that the witch had so generously given them. They put the egg in between them and that night, they fell quickly asleep against the warm egg with it’s soft blue glow.

The next morning, Evelyn marched into the girl’s shack, dumping a bucket of cold water on the twins to wake them up.

“Where is my breakfast?” she demanded with a wicked gleam in her black eyes. “You brats were supposed to be up hours ago.”

The two girls panicked, not expecting to have slept in, and fearfully looked down between them. However, the egg was gone and in its place was a bunch of cracked egg shells.

“What have you two been eating?” the witch demanded in fury. “You’ve been stealing my food, haven’t you?”

“No,” Emma replied with a shakiness to her voice. “We didn’t.”

“Enough!” the witch yelled, pointing towards the house. “I want you two to go in there and make my breakfast. When you’re done, you will go into town and you will go and pick me my herbs.”

She pointed at Emma and Ella respectively, knowing that the two girls hated to be separated. This would be their punishment for the day.

“Do you think the egg hatched last night?” Ella whispered quietly to her sister later, as they made breakfast. “What do you think came out?”

“I don’t know,” Emma muttered, irritated at her sister’s interest toward the egg. “That thing is what got us in trouble, so it doesn’t matter to me.”

The girls remained quiet for the rest of the morning and eventually parted ways by the afternoon. Emma went into town to fetch food and supplies, while Ella picked the witch’s herbs in the enchanted forest.

“It’s the witch’s doll,” the townspeople whispered around Emma, as she made her way through the market. “Where do you suppose the other one is?”

They looked nervously around for Emma’s sister, but she wasn’t to be seen. A couple of the young men through rocks at her, as she bought bread and Emma was silently grateful that she was sent to go into town instead of her sensitive sister. She wouldn’t of been able to handle being here on her own.

After she had finished up her errands, Emma sneaked toward the castle, after stashing her groceries where no one would find them. She wanted to watch the soldiers train, despite her sister thinking that they wouldn’t have a chance against the witch, and learn to get stronger like them. After a few minutes of observing, she began to practice their exercises, until they went inside for their dinner.

Gathering her belongings that she had hid, Emma went back home with a fire in her heart and determination in her eyes. When she saw her sister later on, she seemed just as excited, but both girls had to wait to tell the other about their endeavours, until after they had made the witch’s food for that evening.

When all was said and done, the two girl’s cleaned up and headed quickly back to their shack with the scraps that the witch had given them from her meal.

“You’ll never believe what happened,” they both exclaimed to each other at the same time. “You first.”

They giggled at their repetitions and then Emma went ahead.

“I learned about how the soldiers train for battle,” she went on enthusiastically. “And then I trained for a whole hour! I feel stronger already!”

“I learned a lot about herbs and how they can be made into potions,” Ella explained, moving portions of her scraps to the side of her plate. “And then I found out what hatched from the egg.”

Emma’s heart sank. She had hoped that after the trouble they had gotten in earlier, Ella would have forgotten about it. She didn’t want to get in any more trouble than she already had.

Looking at her sister with troubled eyes, she muttered, “Ella…”

“It’s not what you think,” her sister replied in excitement. “It’s the answer to what we’ve been looking for! Just watch.”

She held out a scrap towards the dark corner of the small shack and a small lizard-like creature crawled into the light created by their small lantern and ate it right out of Ella’s hand.

“What is that?” Emma asked in surprise. “A salamander?”

“No,” Ella answered whispered quietly, admiring the small creature. “It’s a dragon.”

“That small thing?” Emma asked in confusion, cocking her head for a better look. “I thought dragons were bigger and were just a myth.”

“So did I,” Ella agreed, petting the creature lovingly. “But i checked and it has wings. I also looked in one of the witch’s books and it says that they’re real.”

“Do you know what this means?” Emma exclaimed in excitement, sitting forward so that her blue eyes sparkled in the orange light of the lantern. “We can escape! All we have to do is get stronger and take care of this little one. It’ll help us get away and then we’ll be free.”

So that’s exactly what they did for the next six years. Emma trained to become a fighter and Ella learned all about the witch’s spells and potions. They also took care of their dragon, whom they learned was a girl and named Wilona.

Wilona grew up quite quickly to the surprise of the two girls. By two years old, she had grown to be the size of a cow and had beautiful, navy blue scales that sparkled in the light, like a living portrait of the night sky. To keep her a secret, they had to find her a cave out in the forest, where she lived so that Evelyn would never be able to find her. Ella had even learned enough magic to put up a cloaking spell on the cave, so that no one would be the wiser that it was even there. By the time Wilona had turned five, however, the twins had changed her home eight times to accommodate for the dragon’s rapid growth. By the time she had stopped getting bigger, Wilona was bigger that any house that either girl had ever seen, with the exception of the castle that resided in the village.

When Emma and Ella’s eighteenth birthday finally came around, they knew it was time. During the day, while Evelyn was out for a little while, they gathered up everything they planned to take, including some of the witch’s spell books and ingredients, and got ready to head out. Ella had even spent time making them new outfits to wear for the occasion.

Now that they were young ladies, Ella and Emma had grown quite beautiful. Ella had purposely cut her hair short, thinking that long hair was not suitable for fighting. Ella had made her a tunic and a skirt to wear over the armour Emma had crafted for herself and it wasn’t wrong to say that Emma looked like a fierce female warrior. She had even stolen a shield and a sword from the royal army, should she ever need to use them.

Ella, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. She had let her hair grow long and had made herself a beautiful white dress that went all the way to the ground. Around her neck, she wore an amulet and a spell book hung from a belt around her waist, both of which she had stolen from Evelyn. By the time the witch had come back, both of the girls were ready.

“I knew this day was going to come,” the witch acknowledged with a smirk. “You two honestly think you are any match against me? If you apologize now, I’ll forgive you and I’ll only punish you a tiny bit.”

“No way,” Emma replied, her sword in a sheath on her back and her shield in her left hand. “We are leaving now. You cant stop us.”

A scowl appeared on the woman’s lips, as her eyes turned white and black spider’s crawled along her black hair. Storm clouds began to circle above them and a vicious wind blew through the forest.

“You’ll regret your decision,” the woman spat, her normally fair skin turning wrinkled and ugly. “I gave you a place to live and this is how you thank me? I’ll make you pay with your lives!”

She hissed and Ella calmly let out a whistle.

“You treated us like slaves,” Emma spat at the now old-looking woman, whose hair had turned from black to dark grey. “Don’t act so generous when all you did was take advantage of us after our parents tragically died when we were kids.”

The witch smiled viciously as she taunted, “Ah, yes, your parents. How tragic. They were such honest and good-hearted people. It’s a shame I had to burn them and their house down.”

The twins’ eyes widened in horror, as the witch let out a wicked laugh. She held up her hand towards the swirling vortex and lightening began to emit from her hand. Just as the wind reach topped speeds, she brought her hand down, causing a bolt to head straight towards the two girls. Luckily, Ella had studied defensive magic and put up a barrier before it could harm her or her sister.

“You can’t defeat me,” Evelyn screeched. “Now die.”

“We might not be strong enough on our own,” Emma yelled over the wind, as she used her shield to try and block some of it. “But with Wilona we are.”

Right on cue, the giant dragon flew down and roared, the sound cutting through the howling winds. Now it was Evelyn’s turn to look surprised.

“How?” she exclaimed, throwing a bolt of magic that just absorbed right into Wilona’s scales. “They are practically extinct.”

“It’s such a shame,” Emma taunted the old witch with a smirk. “That we’ll have to burn your house down.”

Wilona leaned forward and a large stream of burning fire erupted from her mouth. The witch screamed and tried to protect herself, but failed, as the flames consumed her and her home.

As soon as she was reduced to cinders, the storm eased up before disappearing completely, allowing the stars to shine brightly above them. Emma and Ella looked at each other happily. They had done it. They had won. Climbing up onto Wilona’s back, they prepared to begin their travels elsewhere, but a rustling sound made them freeze.

From the underbrush came the King and his royal army. They had seen everything. Unknown to the two girls, the King had been planning to raid the witch’s house tonight with the intention of killing her.

“You have rid us off that foul witch and have freed us from the plague that she caused my kingdom,” the King announced, getting down on one knee. “Please accept my apology for the way we have treated you. We had no idea she was holding you captive. We owe you a great favour. If there is anything you need, please let me know.”

“Well,” Emma replied from atop of the dragon’s back. “We were thinking of going out on an adventure, but in order to do that we’ll need food and gold…”

“Anything you need,” the King agreed. “We will humbly give you.”

Smiling at her sister, the two girls took the King’s offerings and then headed out on their journey. They had decided to hunt down criminals and evil witches to keep the world a safe place, so that what happened to them, would never happen to anyone else. Emma used her impressive combat skills, Ella used her magic and when the two of them wasn’t enough, Wilona was happy to step in.

Enjoying their freedom and finding a purpose in their lives, Emma and Ella lived happily ever after.

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